Nuova idea in the beginning - Duncan Shearer | Studio Potter

Nuova Idea made solid advances on their 2nd album "Mr E. Jones", a true prog-rock concept album. This album may be as good as the celebrated "Clowns" and perhaps more palatable to those folks who didn't like the vocalist on "Clowns". Here the vocals are much less abrasive and more subtle. With the last vestiges of the 60s sound falling away, "Mr. E. Jones" sounds like a true-blue RPI album in all its glory, with great compositions, expressive and passionate performances, and a growing curiosity for exploration. It is not quite as bold and over-the-top as "Clowns" though, structurally it still retains more normalcy of the rock mold. The clearest apparent influences would be Deep Purple and hard rock of the period. Osage Tribe and Flea (circa '72) would be some Italian reference points for this album's sound, though here you will find more convincing vocals and even nice harmonies as well. After some traffic and telephone sound effects to provide the feel of the workaday grind, the album launches numerous fine organ/guitar dramas that will thrill fans of Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord, but with plenty of the RPI vibe that made so many of the Italian period albums memorable. There is some spacey pop music with great rhythm section behind it. A bit of raucous fusion jamming is not out of the question. The highlight is the wonderful "Premio Di Una Vita" with its classical and pastoral overtones, great songwriting, and combination of organ, harpsichord, and piano. Later we get the wailing guitar solo and another jazzy jam. The album is worth hearing for this juicy track alone. Check it out on YouTube if you can't find the album. Its strongest selling point is their knack for balancing color and mood to provide an experience with ups, downs, and in-betweens. It rocks, but it never just settles into some boring groove. This is an album which badly needs a reissue, and I'd advise all RPI fans to grab it if you have the chance. While it lacks the avant experiments of other RPI heavy hitters, it is almost a sure thing for the Deep Purple loving hard guitar/organ junkies. Check out Friso's review for a nicely detailed "track by track" description. social review comments | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 26, 2011 | Review this album | Report (Review #408526)

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